Map Showing Location of ELCK Parishes

In the video below Archbishop Walter Obare explains the start of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya,  and provides information about the location of the dioceses, parishes and congregations. It is a good primer on the ELCK.

About the ELCK

The ELCK began in Kisii in 1948 with the sending of Martin Lundström of the Swedish Lutheran Mission (SLM). The tribal group in this area are the Kisii (click here for a Wikipedia article on the Kisii). This territory today is known as the South West Diocese and was the first diocese of the ELCK. As of 2008, the South West Diocese had about 25,000 members.

The second diocese of the ELCK is the Lake Diocese on Lake Victoria. The tribe from this area is predominately Luo (click here for a Wikipedia article on the Luo people). As of 2008, the Lake Diocese had about 10,000 members.

The third diocese of the ELCK is the North West Diocese. This region of Kenya was primarily evangelized by the Norwegian Lutheran Mission among the Pokot people (click here for a Wikipedia article on the Pokot). The majority of the Christians in this part of Kenya are Lutherans, followed by the Anglicans and the Roman Catholics. As of 2008, the North West Diocese had about 25,000 members.

The fourth diocese of the ELCK is the Central Diocese which boarders the other three and is the largest geographic diocese. As of 2008, the Central Diocese had about 12,000 members.

The fifth diocese of the ELCK exists constitutionally. It is the Cathedral Diocese located in Nairobi. It is the Archbishop’s diocese.

The total size of the ELCK is between 75,000 and 100,000 members with about 130 pastors.

The ELCK has been shaped by five mission societies primarily from Nordic countries: Swedish Lutheran Mission (SLM), Swedish Lutheran Evangelical Association of Finland (SLEAF), Lutheran Evangelical Association of Finland (LEAF), Norwegian Lutheran Mission (NLM), and World Mission Prayer League (WMPL). These groups all have different cultural backgrounds, philosophies on how to conduct mission, various views on the liturgy, laity, ordination, and the clergy. It makes for an interesting mix. Most recently, as of 2003, the LCMS has been involved as well.

On our trip in Kenya this past week, we visited Mombasa, Wema, Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kitale, Kapenguria, and Chepareria. The only region we did not get to see was the northern region where the drought is occurring.

Rev. Albert B Collver, Ph.D.
LCMS Director of Church Relations – Assistant to the President